WASHINGTON — The Navy’s decision to encourage its pilots to report in detail circumstances where they may have seen unidentified flying objects is a huge step forward toward learning more about possible objects from beyond Earth, UFO researchers said Thursday.
“This is a really big development, a really encouraging development,” Mark Rodeghier, Ph.D., scientific director of the Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS), told TMN in an interview.
“This is literally the first action by a government agency or the military that says UFOs are worth paying attention to.. in 50 years,” he said.
The Navy said on Wednesday that pilots will now have a more detailed and thorough procedure for reporting unexplainable events so the military can keep track of what may, or may not, be happening.
“The Navy is updating and formalizing the process by which reports of any such suspected incursions can be made to the cognizant authorities,” the Navy said in a statement.
The Navy acted in large part because of rising complaints from pilots about what was perceived as a lack of concern about the unexplained objects, some which interfered with radar and other mechanics of aircraft.
The Navy was careful in its response not to validate unexplainable sighting as UFOs.
“There have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air space in recent years,” the Navy told Politico. “For safety and security concerns, the Navy and the [U.S. Air Force] takes these reports very seriously and investigates each and every report.”
Rodeghier said he and others hope this is the first step to having a government supported agency do a full focus on UFOs. CUFOS is an international group of scientists, academics, investigators, and volunteers dedicated to the continuing examination and analysis of the UFO phenomenon.
“It has never been a good idea to pretend they don’t exist,” Rodeghier said. “The Navy is getting serious even if it is just doing it from a defensive posture.”
In 2017, the Pentagon first confirmed the existence of the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, a government operation that ran from 2007 to 2012 with the mission to collect and analyze “anomalous aerospace threats.” It was part of the Defense Intelligence Agency and spent $25 million, according to news reports.
Among the unexplained incidents it examined was one that occurred in 2004 involving the USS Nimitz carrier strike group. In that incident, which lasted several days, Navy fighter jets were “outmaneuvered by unidentified aircraft that flew in ways that appeared to defy the laws of known physics,” according to published reports.